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Economy in Brief

Mass Layoffs Rose
by Tom Moeller December 22, 2005

Mass layoffs rose 8.7% from October. Year to year, the number of mass layoffs fell by 13.1%.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 87% correlation between the three month average level of layoff announcements and the y/y change in payroll employment.

The number of persons affected by mass layoffs in November rose 11.2% m/m though the number remained below last year. By industry, the number of factory sector layoff announcements rose in November but the number of affected persons fell. In finance & insurance, the number of layoff announcements fell sharply and the number of affected persons dropped 21.1% (-9.4% y/y). In construction, the number of layoff announcements surged and generated a three fold m/m increase in the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance.

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period.

How Predictable is Fed Policy? from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President William Poole can be found here.

Mass Layoffs Nov Oct Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
All US Industries (# Events, SA) 1,183 1,088 -13.1% 15,900 19,155 20,472
Total (# Persons, SA) 118,098 106,238 -9.3% 1,588,483 1,936,463 2.256,014
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